Dr. Patty Sotirin
Talk on November 6, doors open 6pm, talk begins 6:15
Carnegie Museum, Houghton
“Copper Country Mothers”
Copper Country mothers of sons in military service were critical figures in this area’s participation in the Great War. For these mothers, the war was a personal challenge but it made them public figures as well. Dr. Sotirin highlights several local mothers whose boys went to war and sketch what that experience was like for some of them based on their letters, poems, and newspaper stories. Beyond their personal pride and trials, the patriotic citizen mother ready to sacrifice her children for the nation emerged as a public focus for recruitment appeals, serviceman support, and national grieving. Special attention is given to the creation of the Gold Star Mothers and their sojourn at national expense to visit their boys’ graves overseas. Given women’s campaign for the vote and the importance of ethnic identity in the Copper Country, the experiences of mothers here highlight some of the tensions among motherhood, nationalism, and citizenship that are still part of our collective story of motherhood and war.
Image: Mass City town hall, courtesy of the Ontonagon County Historical Society